Meeting Minutes July 2015

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4123 Vance Road

Traverse City, MI 49685


July 15, 2015

Regular Meeting held at 6:00 p.m.


Chairman Tim Trudell               Vice-Chair Doug Mansfield                   Treasurer Karen Rosa


Members: Fife Lake -Linda Forwerck, Grant – Doug Moyer, Green Lake- Paul Biondo, Long Lake – Karen Rosa, Paradise- Tim Trudell, Springfield- Tom Gray Union- Doug Mansfield, Whitewater- Ron Popp

Any interested person or group may address the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board on any agenda    item when recognized by the presiding Chairman or upon request of any Board Member. Also, any interested person or group may address the Grand Traverse Fire Board on any matter of Fire Department concern not on the Agenda during the agenda item designated Public Comment. The comment of any member of the public or any special interest group may be limited in time. Such limitation shall not be less than five minutes unless otherwise explained by the presiding Chairman, subject to appeal by the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board.

  1. Roll Call-Fife Lake-Present, Grant-Present, Green Lake-Present, Long Lake-Present, Paradise-Present, Springfield-Present, Union-Present, Whitewater-Present


Short discussion took place regarding the agenda- remove item VI. Strategic Planning temporarily and addition to New Business item c, “Futuring”. Fife Lake made a motion to accept the agenda as amended. Seconded by Union. All in favor. Motion carried.


  1. Consent Calendar


The purpose of the consent calendar is to expedite business by grouping non-controversial items together to be dealt with by one Board motion without discussion. Any member of the Board, staff or the public may ask that any item on the consent calendar be removed therefrom and placed elsewhere on the agenda for individual consideration by the Board; and such requests will be automatically respected. If an item is not removed from the consent calendar, the action noted in parentheses on the agenda is approved by a single Board action adopting the consent calendar.


  1. Minutes- The Board approves the minutes of Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board June 17, 2015 meeting.
  2. Payroll – The Board approves June 4, 2015 payroll #12 in the amount of $15,157.37 and Payroll #13 in the amount of $ 11,576.29 for June 18, 2015. Accounts Payable – The Board approves Pre-authorized claims for July 8, 2015 in the amount of $2,091.42. Vendor’s payable for July 15, 2015 in the amount of $33,776.29.
  3. Reports and Communications –The Board directs the staff to receive, file and respond to communications as necessary. (Financial, Chief’s, RTC, Attorney)


Whitewater requests to remove items a) & b), Green Lake request to removed item a). Chairman asked for a motion to approve the consent calendar with a & b removed. Motion made by Long Lake and Seconded by Union. 7 yeas / 1 nay Motion carried.


Green Lake requests to table the June minutes to clarify the report. Union asked for a motion to table the approval of the June minutes to next month’s meeting for Green Lake to review and to make Whitewater’s suggested amendments (names to roll call vote, intergovernmental agreement date, and public comment). 8 Yeas. Motion carried.


Whitewater discussed objection to item b) Peter Doren’s bill. Short discussion took place. The Chairman asked for a motion to approve item b) accounts payable. Union made a motion. Paradise seconded. One abstaining from vote (Fife Lake) due to conflict of interest. 6 yeas / 1 nay/ 1 abstained. Motion carried.


Short statement made from Fife Lake as to why she did not vote as a conflict of interest at last month’s meeting. Fife Lake did not disclose her business affiliation with Doren, because at that time, Doren was not selected to represent Rural and Fife Lake did discuss it with Chairman after the meeting. Paradise would like to add to agenda “conflict of interest” under roll call section of Minutes.


  • Public Comment
  1. Reserved

Public Comment– Dave Petrove (resident) -9988 Riley Road, Interlochen – He is concerned with this and hopes for Rural to stay together.

Public Comment– Ron Popp (resident) – 6237 Elkview Drive, Williamsburg- He wants to get together before the mediation to discuss the outlook of Rural if we lose our partners. Additionally, he would like the Sub-Committee report information to be disclosed prior to the meeting, so he can prepare for his decision to vote. The Chairman replied – the report was not completed by the Attorney’s until late today, a verbal presentation will be made.


Unfinished Business

  1. Station Leases

Chief Weber stated that the Attorney is drawing up modification of lease for all townships and would have at next meeting.

  1. Compensation Sub-Committee Report

Chief Weber reported that the Sub-Committee is making progress and had come to a verbal agreement and a 30day trial period. It is relaxing the restrictions on the paid-on-call personnel, so not to trigger the minimum wage requirement for Long Lake staffing. It will not affect any other Township, and Attorney is comfortable with this decision. This will begin in the next pay period cycle. The Chairman asks for a motion to allow the staff to enact the trial compensation policy period for one (1) month with Long Lake Township. Green Lake made the motion. Union seconded. Motion carried. 7 yeas / 1 nay. Motion carried.

  1. New Business
  2. Compensation Sub-Committee Policy Trial Period

Completed and combined with unfinished business item b)

  1. Approval of Mediation Fee

Brief discussion. Chairman asked for a motion to accept Mr. Richard Figura’s letter of retainer. Green Lake made the motion. Union seconded. 7 yeas /1 nay. Motion carried.

  1. Futuring

Brief discussion took place regarding the mediation, encouraging all members to be honest and open with what you feel the issues are and what you want to see happen with Rural, including budget and communications.

  1. Strategic Planning

Temporarily removed.

  • Second Public Comment
  1. Reserved

Public Comment –Daryl Case (resident) 8901 Summit City Road, Kingsley. He felt that Rural was always struggling since day one, because we are operating under an antiquated funding source. He feels that Rural is operating under Twp level, and it should be run here (Rural Administration). He continues to state that the Townships will struggle starting out the gate if they run their own fire department, because of all kinds of hidden costs. Recruitment and retention is difficult due to so many other commitments (work, another dept, change loses people, strict requirements), and you would have to lower your standards. He continues to state that Rural should be run like a corporation with a CEO. It should be respectful, and open conversation.

Public Comment-Tim Shaffer (resident) 5309 Moore Rd, Williamsburg- He stated that he was on the Rural Board and Township Board and agrees with the previous public comment (Daryl Case), He asks for the Board to learn from your history.

Public Comment-Dave Petrove- (resident) 9988 Riley Road, Interlochen. He is happy to hear Daryl’s comments. He states that he hears about OSHA, Insurance, but no one mentioned ISO-Insurance Service, Organization. If you don’t have a fire department, you will be spending more money on house insurance. ISO gives points based on personnel you have and the equipment available to respond. ISO credits one full time firefighter for every 4 volunteers, so the more volunteers you have the better. He asks not to lose Rural, because you won’t get good ratings if you separate into individual departments. Additional, no one will save in the long run.

Public Comment– Paul Biondo (resident) 9394 10th Street, Interlochen. He commented that he appreciates the comments. He wanted to remind everyone, that is was true that Blair and Mayfield left, but he mentioned that Fife Lake went through the same thing not long ago and so did Whitewater, they both determined to stay. Additionally, he states, this is a legal agreement, which worked very well. We are here to do business and sometimes these issues get mixed up with emotions. It all started with the boots on the ground, so it made sense to have an organized system which is why it was created and it has grown. The Townships and the people are going to continue to have relationships with each other, this process is more of a legal process, to get to the table and see if we can salvage this or not. Green Lake’s position in this, is a little different than Long Lakes. Long Lake has come to a resolve that it is not working for them and they are pulling out and we (Green Lake) reacted, because the financial burden (the way the formula is currently set up), is coming our way and naturally, it is a concern.

  • Adjournment


Upon a motion made by Fife Lake and duly seconded by Paradise, the Board adjourned at 7:15 p.m.




tim            adrienne

Chairman- Timothy Trudell                                  Secretary- Adrienne C. Haas

 Next Meeting August 19, 2015